Kim Boyce’s Ginger Peach Muffins, lightened up

To start things out, I’ll admit that I can be a bit repetitive.

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (6 of 8)

First, you’re right that I have made ginger peach muffins before (even if I didn’t report about it on this blog).  My co-worker certainly remembers this:  when I brought the muffins in this post into work to share,  she asked, “are these the ones from the blog that are really cupcakes?”  They aren’t–and I like to think these muffins I am about to tell you about are a lot healthier, and just as delicious.

Secondly, you’re also right that I’ve been caught enthusing about Kim Boyce in this space.  Enough that the last time that Molly was over and looking to borrow some cookbooks she said “I know you won’t lend me this one as you’re always using it.”  She was right.

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (1 of 8)

A few weeks ago, when Marie was visiting with new baby M, I bought a few peaches at the grocery store.  Some were nearly ripe, others still unappealingly green and firm around the pit.  I was roasting some eggplant and threw these in the oven at the same time, each half with a pat of butter in the hollowed out pit, and with a light drizzling of honey.  (I threw in some apricots that were about to go for good measure).  A perfectly ripe peach may be impossible to improve on, but a roasted peach, caramelized around the edges and lusciously soft in the center, comes close. It also perks up the less ideal specimens, which let’s face it, is often what you get at the grocery store (or if you just can’t be patient enough to let them fully ripen).

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (3 of 8)

When Molly asked me the next day for some ideas for oat flour–her email started out, “Hey Quirky Flour Lady”–I was reminded of this recipe.  (I’m sure Molly was not shocked to have me bring up Kim Boyce again.  Since the exchange was over email, maybe she even shook her head a little).

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (4 of 8)

I don’t know what Molly’s made with her oat flour, but I immediately knew what I was doing with the leftover roast peaches, despite the fact that in the same email exchange I told Molly that I had declared a muffin moratorium due to my sons’ messes while eating them.    Not a lot of willpower there on my part.

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (2 of 8)

I’m evidently the Quirky Flour Lady, so I already had the oat flour, but if you don’t, you can also made it quite easily by running oatmeal through the food processor.  In fact, I had all the ingredients in hand except for the sour cream, but I had another acidic dairy product in my fridge:  low-fat kefir.  Suddenly I realized (due to no virtuous impulse on my part, but rather luck) that these were going to be a “lightened up” version of the recipe in Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours:  roasted peaches rather than peach slices sautéed in butter, low-fat kefir instead of sour cream.

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (5 of 8)

As you can see, they turned out perfectly.  Kefir, I’ve noticed, seems to produce an exceptionally lofty rise in baked goods (though I’d happily have used buttermilk or yogurt as well), and the blackened edges of my roasted peaches nestled in the crumb ensured my muffins were as pretty as they were delicious.

Ginger Peach Muffins with Oat Flour (8 of 8)

Kim Boyce’s Ginger Peach Muffins, lightened up
Author: adapted from Kim Boyce’s [url href=”Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours “]Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours[/url]
Ingredients
  • For the Roast Peaches
  • 2 ripe but firm peaches peaches, ripe, but firm
  • 1 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 T. honey
  • Dry mix:
  • 1 c. oat flour
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. kosher salt
  • Wet mix:
  • 3 oz (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, then cooled slightly (just melt the butter first, and let it sit while you do everything else)
  • 3/4 c. whole or 2% milk
  • 1/2 c. plain kefir (substitute buttermilk or plain yogurt)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T. finely chopped crystallized ginger
Instructions
Make the roast peaches
  1. Preheat the oven to 425. Slice the peaches in half around the equator and remove the pits. Line a rimmed (preferably) baking sheet with parchment paper (this will substantially speed cleanup). Place the peaches, cut side up on the baking sheet and divide the butter between the hollows of each half. Drizzle lightly with honey (but remember that the oven will bring out the peaches’ sweetness). Roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Remove, and when cool enough to handle, slice each half lengthwise into 6 slices.
Make the muffins
  1. Reduce the heat of the oven to 350. Rub your muffin tins with butter or line with muffin cups.
  2. Stir the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Stir the wet ingredient together in another bowl, and add these to the bowl along with the chopped candied ginger and stir together gently until combined. The batter will still be lumpy. This is ok.
  4. Scoop the batter into 11 muffin tins using a spoon or ice cream scoop. The batter should be slightly mounded over the edges. Lay a couple of peach slices over each muffin, nestling them gently into the batter.
  5. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The muffins are ready when the they smell nutty and are golden. Take the tin out of the oven and as soon as you are able, twist the muffins and lay them to cool on their sides in the tin. This allows the muffins to cool without getting soggy.

 

 

 

Blackberry Farm Griddle Cakes (Gluten-Free Pancakes)

I fortunately don’t have to worry about gluten-free cooking, but I do often find myself looking with interest at gluten-free recipes.  I have quite a collection of flours going and am always curious to find new ways to use them.  But for the dabbler stocking all the ingredients necessary for a gluten-free pantry can seem a bit much.  If you’re going to use it all the time, a home-made mix that requires you to stock up on ingredients ranging from arrowroot powder to sorghum makes perfect sense (and is hopefully more economical than some of the store-bought varieties though I understand that extra expense is par for the course when things must be free of gluten).  But for me, it seems like a lot to buy.

Blackberry Farm Gluten-Free Pancakes (1 of 5)

May 2013’s Bon Appetit cover showcases a beautiful stack of pancakes from the famous Blackberry Farm restaurant.  I was immediately curious, and only when I read through did I realize the recipe was for gluten-free pancakes.  Even better, it “only” required four other varieties–buckwheat (which I have on hand for pancakes anyway); cornmeal (polenta); brown rice flour (which I use for bread proofing) and oat flour (which I bought for the occasion, but which you can make easily from regular oatmeal in the food processor).

Blackberry Farm Gluten-Free Pancakes (3 of 5)

With that, this iteration of Sunday morning pancakes.  I had actually been wanting to try buckwheat pancakes for a while but was a bit nervous about what my picky eaters would say.  So this mix seemed like a good test run, as I knew the oat flour–the largest component–would mellow the buckwheat flavor. A quarter cup of maple syrup didn’t hurt either.  The lack of gluten ensured these pancakes were tender and light (an unprompted observation from my husband).  And happily they puffed up beautifully as they cooked quickly–a virtue when I’m griddling up as fast as I can for 3 hungry boys.

Blackberry Farm Gluten-Free Pancakes (2 of 5)

A few comments.  As I mentioned I used polenta which maybe was a bit too coarse a grind for the purpose–my husband liked the slight crunchy texture they provided, but next time I think a finer grind would work better.  While the recipe doens’t so require, I found that the batter got thicker after the first batch as it absorbed more liquid, so I’d suggest a five minute rest after the initial mixing.

Blackberry Farm Gluten-Free Pancakes (4 of 5)

And one more.  I made yet another change from the original recipe–I didn’t add the quarter cup of melted butter.  For no reason other than that I misread the recipe.  I liked my accidental low-fat version well enough, but as it was not a considered change to the recipe, I also thought it was only right to let you know!

Blackberry Farm Griddle Cakes
Make your own oat flour by whirring up rolled oats in your food processor. You can make this into a “mix”: Triple the dry ingredients and store them in a jar. Use 2 1/4 cups of “mix”; all the other measurements stay the same.
Ingredients
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Butter (for skillet)
Instructions
  1. Whisk egg, buttermilk, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk oat flour, cornmeal, rice flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients, then allow the batter to sit for five minutes.
  3. Heat a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat; lightly brush with butter. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/4-cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bottoms are browned and bubbles form on top of griddle cakes, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until griddle cakes are cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.

 Blackberry Farm Gluten-Free Pancakes (5 of 5)